Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua will be delighted as stakes are upped ahead of fight

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Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder are on a ‘collision course’ for what could be the biggest boxing final eliminator in years. The British and American fighters will appear on the same bill in Saudi Arabia on December 23 but face different opponents. Joshua is set to go head-to-head with Otto Wallin, whilst Wilder will take on Joseph Parker.

Should both Joshua and Wilder prevail in Riyadh then the No. 1 and No. 2 WBC challengers look set to face each other, but not for the heavyweight championship belt.

Current WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury is set to face, IBF, WBA and WBO champion Oleksandr Usyk in a division unification match on February 17, but according to Sky Sports, the WBC has confirmed that they are expecting there to be a rematch between Fury and Usyk to follow.

WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman told the broadcaster that his outfit was committed to the idea of establishing an undisputed heavyweight world champion.

He said: “We’ve been waiting and pushing and mediating and encouraging everyone to try to make this happen. When Wilder was champion there were a couple of occasions where Wilder-Joshua came very close. The WBC left that window without interfering with anything that could get in the way. Then with Tyson Fury, he was ready to fight Joshua, then Usyk.

Joshua v Helenius Weigh In






“The problem that could happen is a mandatory contender. We did order Wilder against [Andy] Ruiz, which was a tremendous fight, to find a mandatory contender.

“That fight didn’t take place. So the WBC board of governors has approved Fury against Usyk in February and then the rematch so there will not be anything in the way, as far as the WBC, for both fights to take place.”

With Fury v Usyk now looking destined to effectively be held over two fights, an alternative contender for the title of world champion could be some time off, but with both Joshua and Wilder granted the opportunity to prove their credentials in Saudi Arabia on December 23, one of them could eventually emerge as the mandatory challenger for the WBC belt.

Sulaiman added: “In itself, it is a natural WBC elimination tournament. You have Wilder, No 1, Joshua, you have Parker, you have Otto Wallin, all those are highly ranked in the WBC. After December 23 we’re going to see a different picture in the rankings.”

“It looks like Wilder and Joshua are on a collision course. That could very well be a final elimination to determine a mandatory contender for the WBC title. Unbelievable. That would be a dream come true for the fans.”

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